A soldier in a combat zone learned that his wife was desperately ill and not expected to live. He applied for an “emergency leave” but was denied. After a sleepless night he decided that he would desert his post and fellow soldiers and go to her bedside. As he was leaving his barracks, he was apprehended and placed in the stockade.
A few weeks later he was ordered to stand trial. After the evidence was presented to the judge and jury, he was found guilty and condemned to death for leaving his post.
“I understand, Sir,” he said to the judge “that I left my post and deserted my colors. I deserve the verdict of the court.” Asked the judge, “Do you have anything more to say?”
“No, your honor,” came the reply.
“Well, I do,” said the judge. “There is something more to say.” And he read the soldier a pardon.
Standing tall and filled with gratitude, he began to weep violently for the mercy the court offered him. In humility he offered his gratitude, and saluted the judge. He was then restored to duty and returned to combat.
Our God is a holy God and cannot look at our sins. And because we have sinned, we deserve to be punished. But because of His great love He offers us a pardon through the death of His Son. It was His Son, who on our behalf, accepted our punishment, rescued us and set us free from the penalty of death. The moment we accept His mercy we are set free from our punishment.
Prayer: How grateful we are, Father, for the reminder of the Psalmist that YOU are “the God who forgives!” In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Psalm 99:8 Lord our God, you answered them; you were to Israel a forgiving God, though you punished their misdeeds.